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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  November 21, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm EST

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>> it's a stunning ro, an amazing film. >> simon congratulations to you. in your directing debut, you must be excited? >> really excited. i'm excited about the opening, we've been taking the show on the road. people's responses are amazing. >> i can't wait to see it, best of luck. >> thank you. >> that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts now. thanks, piers, it's 10:00 p.m. on the east coast. we begin keeping them honest on the hill. and the superfailure by the bipartisan super committee tasked with cutting the u.s. deficit. forget about all those promises of solving the budget mess. a forget about all that talk about failure not being an option. the six democrats and six republicans on the committee have announced this -- they can't reach a deal.
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to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the budget. for legislative reasons they had to announce a deal by today. but there's no deal after negotiating for two and a half months. they don't even have the guts to explain why on camera and take questions from reporters. after the markets closed, democratic senator patty murray and republican congressman jeff hensarling released this statement. after months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee's deadline. despite our inability to bridge the committee's significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve. we remain hopeful that congress can build on this committee's work and can find a way to tackle this issue in a way though works for the american people and our economy. keeping them honest, they remain hopeful that congress can build on their work and they say they're united in the belief that the fiscal crisis must be addressed, yet they didn't do the job they were asked to do. the statement goes on to say, we want to express our appreciation to every member of this committee, each of whom came into the process committed to achieving a solution that has
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eluded many groups before us. here we go again. politicians thanking one another, thanking each other for what? they didn't get the job done. as far as being committed to achieving a solution, well, it's deadline day and there is no solution. the fallback plan, if case you're curious, is a set of automatic cuts from the defense budget and elsewhere that would start in january of 2013. pressure is already building on capitol hill to stop that plan. in fact, earlier this evening, president obama said, no way. >> already, some in congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. my message to them is simple -- no. i will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts, domestic and defense spending. there will be no easy off ramps on this one. we need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure. >> tough talk from president obama in the last couple of
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hours, but a lot of people are saying, look, we haven't heard much from him in the past few weeks on the supercommittee. instead, for months, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been vowing that failure is not an option. listen to this. >> let me say this about the joint committee. failure is not an option. >> we must live and breathe believing that failure is not an option. >> failure is not an option. failure is absolutely not an option. >> failure can't be an option. >> failure's not an option. >> failure is not an option. >> failure is not an option. >> failure should not be an option. >> my view is that failure is not an option. >> failure cannot be accepted. >> the american people need an outcome, they expect an outcome, they deserve an outcome. and i expect to get one. >> the american people expect an outcome and they deserve an outcome, as you just heard there. but keeping them honest, here we are tonight, no deal. complete and utter failure. and the markets noticed as well. the dow took a beating today when news spread about the panel's apparent failure and debt concerns abroad.
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at the closing bell blue chips had already fallen 250 points. back to that statement from the committee co-chairs, all that talk of months of hard work, you would think they would have spent the weekend in marathon negotiations trying to reach an agreement. but many were on the sunday talk show circuit yesterday blaming the other side for the failed talks. in fact, we know of no face-to-face meetings for the group itself over the weekend. a senior gop aide told cnn there was a conference call, yes, a conference call. that begs the question why didn't they attempt face-to-face negotiations when they claimed that failure was not an option. did congressional leaders push hard enough for a deal? a lot of people asking that question tonight. here to talk about the raw politics, ari fleischer, former press secretary for george w. bush, and democratic strategist paul begala. and also with us, cnn senior political analyst david gergen. you've all had busy days. david gergen, let me start with
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you. you wrote this dot-com op-ed that asked the question, headline, have they gone nuts in washington? what do you think? i mean, first of all, were you surprised at all by this? i mean, what do you think 's going on? >> very surprised. what we've seen in the past is we've often had contentious politics, deep philosophical differences between the parties. but at the 11th hour they've found a way to get somewhere close to the middle and signed a deal that got you partway there. this is one of the first times that i can remember when it's been utter failure. and occurring, sanjay, in the midst of an economic situation that's very fragile. as you mentioned, we have a real problem in europe right now. the euro could collapse over there. they're definitely heading towards some sort of recession that could rebound here. and that kind of volatility in the marketplace, damping consumer confidence, you could have a lot of things start to unwind here. people get hurt with loss of jobs. this is, to my way of thinking,
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a reckless, reckless irresponsible gamble on the part of congress. >> part of the reason, david, i ask, i'm going to ask paul this as well, a lot of people thought that there's just no way they're going to come to some sort of agreement out here. in fact, paul, people are saying that president obama wanted -- the only thing he wanted more than a deal was no deal so he could spend 2012 running against republicans in congress. is that a fair characterization? >> i just don't think so, no, sanjay. there's been a good deal of reporting, the president was pushing for a big deal, we know, back when this super committee was created. the president was pushing very, very hard not for the 1.2 trillion they couldn't meet today, but for the $4 or $5 trillion. so i have to say, the thing i'm frustrated about in this and some of the coverage is that the natural thing is to say a pox on both their houses.
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democrats don't want to cut spending, republicans don't want to raise taxes. that's not the truth. democrats had agreed to hundreds of billions in cuts and spending programs that they love. that's a hard thing for a democrat to do. republicans refused to raise a nickel in taxes even from the wealthiest people which is very popular, actually w the american people. it wasn't even a hard thing to do. republicans wouldn't do something easy, democrats willing to do something tough. the story is this fetish that republicans have developed about tax cuts in the last few years. and it is a fetish. it's a perversion. president reagan, whom david gergen served, he didn't want to but he raised taxes many times as president because he had to pay down deficits. that's what republicans have to get used to today and lose this fetish they have about taxes. >> david gergen served a lot of presidents, as you know, to be fair. and paul, let's be fair here, there's a lot of people very entrenched on both sides. compromise was not an adjective that springs to mind no matter how you characterize it. ari, some said republicans didn't want to make a deal now. they wanted to punt until 2013 when they're hoping to control the house and the white house when they wouldn't have to make
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any deal with democrats at all. what do you think of that? >> i've been a part of two of the last major budget agreements between congress and the white house. there have been three in recent times. one was george h.w. bush with a democratic congress, president bill clinton did it with a republican congress in 1997 and george w. bush had a budget agreement with a 50/50 senate in 2001. in all three of those instances, you had a coming together with congress and the president and the president in the room, the president's people in the room. what separated this failure, which is a very disappointing failure, from the previous successes, was the absolute lack of presidential involvement. that's where i am troubled processwise. where is president obama? why didn't he help and put his shoulder to the wheel as did his predecessors? there's a pathway to success and it always involves the president and the legislature. it's always messy, but when you take the president out of the
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equation, congress is almost always out to lunch, but what you have here is a president who just seems in over his head and is not trying to help because he's really focused just on protecting his brand and not forging the hard compromise that we know are necessary to get an agreement like this. >> you know, ari, some have said the republicans on the committee were reluctant to have president obama involved at all with the super committee, right? so it may have been some of that as opposed so, as you're saying, lack of leadership. >> no, i really don't think that's the case. i think they did as congress always does, congress always overextends what it thinks it can do on its own and it needs to get helped out by the executive. that's how our system is built. that's why there were three precedents, three modern era successes dealing with divided government. i just think we're in an era where, so long as barack obama is president, divided government will not work. it has worked in the past, and i just don't think it will. you either have to go back to re-elect president obama and
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give him the majorities that the democrats had in 2009 and 2010. and you'll get more of what happened in 2009 and 2010, which is a buildup of debt or elect a majority in the congress and then things will get done. >> david gergen, i was at the hospital part of the day today. a lot of people talking about this. and the refrain seemed to be, look, if you compromise, you lose support. you lose support among your constituents. there's a lot in the system that sort of sways these legislators way from compromise. i mean, do you agree with that? and if so, how do we get anything done? >> so what if they lose some support back home? they were elected to do a job. if they can't get the job done, they should lose office, not just support, they should lose office. in corporate america, if you're a ceo and you've got a leadership role and you fail in your job, you're out.
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i just think a lot of citizens have got on the the point where they don't care if you're a republican or a democrat, if you can't get the job done, get somebody else in there who can protect the country. i think americans are more than fed up with this. i think the -- and let me just say two things. one paul begala was right about president reagan, he did raise taxes about 11 times, small increases, but he did it in order to get progress. that's what we need to see from republicans now. but ari has a point. we've had a passive president on these negotiations. he's been on the sidelines. frankly the issue now is he going to take the lead in the days ahead and do something and get these deficits down or is he going to sit on the sidelines and simply campaign from now till november 2012? that's his choice. >> of course, leave it to david gergen to arrive at some compromise between paul begala and ari fleischer. thanks all of you for joining us, and happy thanksgiving if we don't talk before then. >> thank uds you.
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>> have a good evening. be sure to tune in for the cnn national security debate tomorrow 8:00 p.m. i'm sure some of these issues will come up again. let us know what you think. we're on facebook and google plus. you can add us to your circles. also follow me on twitt twitter @sanjaygupta. i'll be tweeting throughout the show tonight. deja vu in egypt. deadly protests on the streets of cairo. the cabinet offers to resign, but will they allow that? we're asking the questions and keeping them honest. and inside the mind of jared loughner. he's accused of wounding gabby giffords and killing others in that shooting in arizona earlier this year. tonight we have some startling new details reporting about his mental state that could prevent him from facing trial. first, though, let's check in with isha sesay. >> there's no fallout from the use of pepper spray against protesters at uc davis. the action taken against the police chief on campus.
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another keeping them honest report tonight, chaos returns to egypt's cairo tahrir square. all those promises of the military weakening its grip, false promises they are. there's new clashes between security forces and protesters. and now egypt's entire cabinet has offered to resign. they're outraged by this crackdown. but the prime minister's office says, that the military leadership has not yet accepted the offer of resignation. 24 people have died since saturday. more than 200 protesters were injured just today. tough to watch. but this man there in the square, not just one or two. take a look at this. not just one or two security forces but several of them using their batons on this man. again, it is just hard to watch as this is happening there in tahrir square. some kick him. he can't even fight back, obviously. at this point, we don't even know what happened to him.
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we thought those days were over in egypt after hosni mubarak was ousted in february. that's when the military government took over in egypt. since then the military has talked about repealing emergency law, but that's all talk. so far it hasn't happened. they've talked about handing over power to a new government when it's elected. parliamentary elections are a week from today. but an election could still be a year away. the egyptian people want change and they want it now. take a look at this. [ gunfire ] >> gunfire today in tahrir square. rubber but bullets as far as we can tell, and tear gas. "the new york times" reports a representative of the ruling military council spoke in the square today saying the council respected the people's right to demonstrations. he insist that security forces had not entered the square.
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take a look there for yourself. keeping them honest, it looks like they're already on the ground already. now, we've seen what it looks like to be in military vehicles in the middle of the clashes, when asked about reports of gunfire from security sources, they said that the victims were "thugs, not peaceful demonstrators." you can watch this video for yourself. once again in egypt, protesters are being beaten, dragged through the streets. this victim is a thug in the eyes of the military. we've got the victim who probably sees it a little differently. we've found this on youtube, like the man hit by the batons, that we don't know what happened to him either. on its facebook page egypt's military said it's extremely sorry for what these events have led to. it calls for all political coalitions and the youth to work together to contain the events that have negatively affected the country's security and safety. we'll see if that happens in the days and weeks to come. what's clear tonight is something else. the celebrations we saw in the
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streets of cairo back in february, they're a distant memory. back then the military celebrated with the people. now they're fighting one another and there are some deadly consequences. joining us to talk about this from cairo, senior cnn correspondent ben wedeman and egyptian protester khalid abdalla. he was the lead actor in the movie "kite runner" if you recognize him. and anne-marie slaughter at the u.s. state department. ben, first of all, we saw some just frightening video, tough to watch. what is the latest on the situation there tonight? >> well, we still have the thousands of people in tahrir square and clashes still ongoing on the main road leading to the interior ministry. and i think it's important to keep in mind that really a lot of the anger is focused on the interior ministry. it's the symbol for many egyptians of the kind of police brutality they revolted against
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on the 25th of january, and they're revolting against yet again today. and it's important to keep in mind, sanjay that this is not the first time that the military and the security forces have been unleashed upon the population since mubarak was overthrown back in october. 26 people, most of them coptic christians, just in the streets below us here were killed in -- when the military drove in some instances armored personnel carriers over unarmed demonstrators. so this really is just boiling over of anger and frustration at the military, at the security forces. >> so many people, ben, have been focused on the story and again since february. with egypt's parliamentary elections starting on monday, why is this happening now? does this show a lack of faith in the elections, a lack of faith that the military will hand over the power to the elected government? >> well, i think it's really just mistrust of the military
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leaders. in fact, it's starting to -- one is starting to forget that there are elections in a week, given the way this has exploded. and the way it has. really it represents a certain level incompetence by the authorities here because these demonstrations were sparked when the security forces were called in to tahrir square to clear away just about 200 people, demonstrators, relatives of those who were injured or killed during the revolution. and they tried to clear them away with a level of brutality that shocked many egyptians. and when word spread around cairo that this crackdown had begun, people flocked to the -- sort of as we're saying deja vu, the same thing all over again a lot of people to be surprised to watching video that seems similar to so many months ago. khalid abdalla, you've been
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visiting some of the morgues -- khalid, are you still with us? we may have lost khalid there. >> yes, i am. >> okay, khalid, i think you're back with us. on the phone there on skype it looks like. you've been visiting some of the morgues in cairo, i understand? we just watched some of the video of these people being beaten pretty mercilessly. what are you seeing in the morgues and the hospitals over there as well? >> i mean, the images in the morgue were pretty horrendous, really. i mean, as well, i think, officials are trying to -- they're sort of playing a game to make it more difficult for the families of people who have died to identify bodies there by slowing the official numbers of people recognized. it was pretty horrible. >> you're out there as a protester. is it frightening for you?
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i mean, does the violence scare you? i think we may have lost him again. difficult, as you might imagine, to establish these connections. aaron anne marie, the brookings institute released a poll today that shows the majority of egyptians believe their current military rulers are undermining or reversing the political treat opens gained with the overthrow of mubarak. i remember at the time that the military seemed like the only honest broker in the whole equation. what has happened over the last eight or nine months? >> well, the military did say back in february that they were taking over, as mubarak was leaving, they were taking over, but they were taking over as caretakers until they could restore civilian power. and that's the promise that they have clearly broken. they last week released these constitutional guidelines that essentially said the military will have the power to intervene in the civilian government whenever it want to and the military budget will be completely secret.
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so any efforts to hold corrupt military officers to account would have been thwarted. so that's what started these demonstrations back on friday. they were largely peaceful -- they were peaceful. then as ben said, the police brutally assaulted them. you've got now the military is actually succeeding in uniting 37 parties against them planned for a march tomorrow. the military is breaking its promises. >> and again, this video is playing, it's hard to watch. i don't know if you can even see that. but is there a part when the united states says this is in our own interests and we need to get involved again? is there a point where you think that happens? >> sanjay, that's really the hard question here. from a perspective, we have every interest in making clear that any violence against the protesters, we absolutely
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condemn. i'm fairly certain we're working very hard behind the scenes. our military to the egyptian military to try to get the military to stop and have elections proceed, and for the military to actually deliver on allowing for civilian transition. publicly we have not been willing to take a stance until now, and really tell the military government -- denounce what they're doing. >> sobering news out of egyptian. ben wedeman, khalid abdalla, anne marie, please be careful out there. the question is will he be able to uncover facts about just who knew what about jerry sandusky about allegedly abusing young boys? also when they knew it and why it wasn't reported to police? and these terrible pictures from a protest in california. they've been seen around the country. we'll tell you who is paying the
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price for pepper spraying protesters at uc davis. [ male announcer ] if you think tylenol
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an independent inquiry is under way into penn state's response to recent child sex abuse allegation. and former fbi director louis freeh will head up the investigation fp they want to know who knew jerry sandusky had been seen allegedly sexually abusing a young boy in the school shower room and what
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they knew and when they knew it. one big question still lingers nearly ten years later, in the midst of all that, why didt anyone call the police? jason carroll joins me with the latest on this ongoing scandal. jason? >> freeh is promising a thorough investigation. that's what he had said to us earlier. but having said that, he's going to face some restrictions. as you know, he will not have subpoena power when he conducts this particular investigation. but having said that, we spoke to an attorney general spokesperson today. he also told us that freeh will only have access to public records, say, for instance, that grand jury report which is basically just a summary. but even with all those challenges, freeh is a man who has an extensive law enforcement background. he knows what he's going to be able to get here. he knows what he will not have access to. and he spoke about that just a little earlier today. >> we will certainly request that they share any non grand jury, nonsensitive information
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with us. i made the same request to the attorney general. and having been on the law enforcement side of things, there are many parts of what they do that can be shared appropriately and legally with us. so we'll certainly ask for that and take advantage of that. we also understand that wear not conducting a criminal investigation, which is why i highlighted a few points that if we find or run across any evidence of criminality, we will report that immediately. we're not conducting the criminal investigation, but we will ask the criminal investigators for their help and assistance. >> so jason, as far as you can tell, i mean, what types of tools or special resources will louis freeh have available to him to conduct this investigation? >> sanjay, he's going to have access to former fbi investigators. he also tells us that he'll be using former prosecutors to help him as well. also, we spoke to one of freeh's people tonight, telling us hundreds of corporations
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routinely and regularly conduct similar investigations without subpoena power and have had great success finding facts, interviewing witnesses and making recommendations. now, in terms of when these recommendations will be coming out, freeh was asked about that as well. he didn't put a timeline on it, but he did say he recognizes the urgency of the situation and trying to get the findings out as soon as possible. >> and again, louis freeh was the director of the fbi up until 20001. jason, thanks so much for that report. we are following several other stories tonight. isha sesay joins us now with a 360 news and business bulletin. >> more fallout from the shocking video at the university of california at davis police pepper spraying a group of protesters staging a campus sit-in. the police chief has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation into the incident continues. the two officers you see in the video had already been put on lead.
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students and faculty members returned for another protest. family, friends, faculty and students packed the oklahoma state university gym today to say good-bye to women's basketball coaches kurt budke and miranda serna. they were killed in an accident last week. they were known for turning the team around. and earning the team a top ten ranking. hugh grant testified before a government panel investigating phone hacking by uk tabloids. grant believes his voice mails were hacked by the newspaper "the mirror" on sunday. rupert murdoch's "news of the world" was shut down after reporters hacked the phone of a murdered school girl, leading her parents to believe she was still alive. an act called cowardly and shocking. and one marine got to take his dream date to the ball. scott moore escorted mila kunis. moore invited the "friends with
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benefits" star by video on youtube. sanjay, it is becoming quite the trend. >> i'm surprised no one has asked you yet. or have they? >> you took the words right out of my mouth. i was wondering, anyone queuing up to take sanjay to the ball? not so much. >> i'm a married man, but if there's any youtube videos out there for you, we'll be sure to dig them up. stick around. we've got our beat 360 winners now. it's our challenge to viewers. a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the photo we post on our blog. taylor swift accepts the artist of the year award in los angeles. that was last night. our staff winner tonight is chuck. his caption read taking a page out of the palin playbook, taylor swift reads her talking points off of her hand. ouch. our viewer winner though, there we are, our viewer winner though is jennifer. her caption -- maybe if i can't see him, kanye can't see me. jennifer!
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that's pretty good, pretty good, making a little allusion to last year's music award. jennifer your beat 360 t-shirt is on the way. thanks so much for joining us. just ahead on 360, the mental state of jared loughner. a video camera now records him 24/7 inside his prison cell. is he getting any saner with the medication? also ahead, new concerns about the safety of seafood in the gulf of mexico. what a new study says about the fallout still from in a bp oil spill. let's go to vegas. alright, let's do it. let's do it, let's go to vegas. vegas baby! maybe we should head back to the dealership first? vegas! no, this is a test drive. vegas! [ male announcer ] it's practically yours.
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you know, it's nothing short of amazing really that congresswoman gabrielle giffords will celebrate another thanksgiving in just a few days, ten months after she was nearly killed, she's begun to talk about her remarkable survival story in her own words. she gave her first television interview last week on abc's "20/20" saying she feels pretty good. she's written a book along with her husband, mark kelly. the ordeal that changed their lives forever came out of nowhere last january while giffords was talking with constituents in a shopping mall parking lot. a gunman began firing. he killed six and wounded others including giffords. jared loughner was tackled, arrested at the scene. tonight we have startling new details about him and his mental illness which for now prevents him from standing trial. jared loughner spends most of his days isolated in a federal
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medical facility in springfield, missouri. diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, a federal judge ruled in may that the arizona shooting suspect was not competent to stand trial. for months now cameras have watched loughner's every move and guards keep logs of it in a color-coded chart. this is all according to court testimony obtained by "the arizona republic." blue means he's in bed, green means he's up and awake. and red? well, red indicates that jared is pacing in his small cement cell. on july 12th, a federal court ruled loughner had not been con victimed of a crime and, therefore, had the right to refuse medication. without the meds, prison psychologist christina pies who sees loughner daily, testified that loughner heard voices, flung feces on to his bed, stayed awake for 50 hours, spinning in circles for two hours. all these behaviors are consistent with paranoid schizophrenia, delusions, anxiety, anger, violence, hallucinations.
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by july, the federal appeals panel reversed the court's decision and ordered that authorities could force loughner to take anti-psychotic meds. and pies testified that the charts included a lot less red. there was a major shift in his behavior, sleeping eight to ten hours a night. ordering three meals a day. and far fewer angry outbursts. transcripts from his september 28th competency hearing, reveals he now believes that she -- giffords is now alive. he understands that he's murdered people. he talks about how remorseful he is. you know, based on that testimony, u.s. district judge larry burns extended loughner's stay at the hospital until july of 2012. the judge believes that loughner will eventually be fit to stand trial. loughner has pled not guilty to
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49 charges, including murder and attempted murder. the ap is reporting tonight that his lawyers have filed an appeal allowing doctors to forcibly medicate him. this issue has come up before. joining me now to dig a little deeper into it is forensic psychologist helen morrison. thank you for joining us. this is fascinating. so he was at one point not being medicated, then forcibly medicated, now he's possibly taking it voluntarily. have you dealt with this sort of issue before? what is the obligation of people in terms of treating him? >> well, one of the things is the restoration of competence is not an uncommon thing. it's guaranteed by the sixth and 14th amendment of the constitution. the right to due process and the right to be able to have an effective counsel. the problem was that people talk about forced medication. it was only given because he was so suicidal, so dangerous to himself, he even injured himself because he had been walking and pacing in such an agitated
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fashion that he got a huge blister, with the infection going up his leg. so the courts have always said that in order to protect an individual, he can be forcibly medicated. however, he's not being forcibly medicated. he is voluntarily drinking his medication every single day. >> and if he is 100% competent, they say, thin he will be fit to stand trial. but he's starting to show signs of remorse. he was mentally ill at the time, now medicated and showing remorse. what does that all mean? from a psychologist's perspective, someone who has worked in the area, how does this play out? >> one of the dangers from anyone suffering a paranoid schizophrenia is that once you get the dangerousness under control, the high risk of a completed suicide increases dramatically because an individual now understands what they have done.
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they now know the facts of what they've done. and you don't have to be 100% to be declared competent. all you have to do is to be able to have a factual understanding of the court and a rational understanding of what's going on in that courtroom. and factual means that you know the facts of the case, you know what the roles of people in the courts are, the rational understanding is that can you make a decision based on those facts on what you're planning to do, and then are you able to assist your counsel? it doesn't mean that you're practicing law, but are you able to understand what your lawyers are doing? are you able to accept what they're doing? you don't have to want to work with your lawyers. that's not the point. the point is are you capable at the present time of assisting in your own defense? >> that's a fascinating, frightening and very sad as well. dr. helen morrison, thanks so much for joining us.
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still ahead, authorities are calling him a lone wolf. a man arrested for planning bomb attacks on police and military personnel. also ahead new questions about the safety of seafood in the gulf of mexico. the fda says there's no danger. but a new study says children might in fact be at risk. loads . you got a weather balloon with points? yes, i did. [ man ] points i could use for just about anything. ♪ keep on going in this direction. take this bridge over here. there it is. [ man ] so i used mine to get a whole new perspective. ♪ [ male announcer ] write your story with the citi thankyou premier card, with no point caps, and points that don't expire. get started at [ woman on r♪ bum-bum,stinct ] bum-bum, bum-bum ♪ ♪ bum-bum with no point caps, and points that don't expire. - ♪ ai, ai, ai - ♪ bum-bum - ♪ bum-bum, bum-bum - ♪ [ ice rattles rhythmically ] ♪ bum-bum, bum-bum, bum-bum ♪ ♪ [ imitates guitar noise ] ♪ [ vocalizing up-tempo heavy metal song ]
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will be giving away passafree copies of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to tonight a question that's never really gone away and now it's back in the spotlight. how safe to eat is the fish and seafood that comes from the gulf of mexico?
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we all remember those images of oil gushing out of the broken bp cap last year. by the time it was capped, oil had spilled into the gulf. how much harm that oil may have done to marine life is still not clear. about a week before the leak was capped i talked to a doctor about this very question who was involved in the testing of seafood. is the seafood safe? yes. >> and you say? >> yes. we have a cooperative program between noaa, fda, the epa, and we're working together to make sure that seafood is safe. >> in case you missed it, the fda was in that alphabet soup of agencies he just mentioned it says that the seafood from the gulf is safe to eat. there is a new study that says the fda didn't factor in the small size of children or a developing fetus. here's gary tuchman. >> reporter: tom barrios relies on the gulf of mexico for his livelihood.
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he's a louisiana crabber and shrimper who, since the bp oil disaster, has been losing lots of money. how scary of a time is this for you and your wife and your family? >> if we had a way out, we would probably get out. >> reporter: leaders in the seafood industry say catches are way down compared to before the disaster. there's just not as many fish, and there is also this -- are you concerned about the safety of the food? >> i'm very concerned. i have children. very concerned. >> reporter: so you're concerned as a businessman and as a father? >> correct. >> reporter: fishermen certainly don't like to speak negatively of their cash crop, but you don't only hear it from the fishermen, you hear it from their leaders, such as the president of the louisiana shrimp association. do you feel safe for you and your family to eat the shrimp? >> i eat it. >> reporter: but do you feel confident it's as healthy as it was before the oil spill? >> no. >> reporter: the food and drug administration says gulf seafood is safe to eat.
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>> i eat it every day. and actually barbecued some shrimp last week. so it's safe. >> reporter: but there are other physicians and scientists who disagree in an alarming fashion. >> there's an increased risk of cancer if you eat a lot of seafood contaminated from this oil spill. >> reporter: dr. gina solomon is a senior scientist with the natural resources defense council, a national environmental group. she said a study indicates that gulf seafood is safe for the typical adult but chemicals from the bp oil make it less safe for their children. >> kids who eat a lot of seafood could be at increased risk of cancer. if a mom eats seafood, her baby could be at increased risk of cancer if she eats enough of it. so what the chemicals in the oil do, they damage choem soems, interact with dna, cause cell mutations. >> reporter: the fda strongly disagrees saying the data was
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miscalculated and the seafood is safe for everyone including children. >> the amount of seafood that someone would have to eat would be the equivalent of 63 pounds of shrimp or five pounds of oyster or nine pounds of fin fish every day for five years before they would exceed levels to be concerned about. >> reporter: when the bp oil well was capped, this story started fading from the memories of people, but not for those whose livelihood depends on this water. their fear and anxiety only made worse by the lack of public attention now being paid. there will now be more public attention because of the nrdc and fda dispute and because of anecdotes like this. >> fishermen are bringing in shrimp without any eyes. you know, not just eyes pulled off. they've evidently lost their eyes and are still alive. >> reporter: what does that tell you? >> that tells me something is wrong. >> reporter: on an average day
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before the oil spill, you could have 30,000 pounds of shrimp? >> that's not a good day, that's an average day. >> reporter: how many come in today? >> zero. >> it's likely that the population declines in the shrimp are due to the same things we're worried about if people eat them. >> reporter: no disagreement on how life has dramatically changed in life on the coast. >> gary, you and i spent a fair amount of time down there together. to be fair, the fda says you have to eat quite a bit of seafood to be at risk. the louisiana health officials say you have to eat about 1,500 shrimp a day for five years to have health concerns. what's the nrdc's response to numbers like that? >> 63 pounds of shrimp every day for five years which is more than 1,800 days. even the nathan's hot dog eating champion can't do that. so obviously the fda feeling it is safe. but they say that the fda's logic and numbers are flawed. the most important job the fda has is to protect our food and medicine. they could back down if it
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wanted to. it is strongly saying this food is safe for everybody. >> sounds like they've been saying that all along. if you wanted to eat that much shrimp, it sounds like it would be pretty hard to do because there's a serious decline in the harvest this season. is that right? i mean, how bad is it? >> yeah, there's no question about it. we talked to a lot of shrimpers and oystermen and crabbers and the leaders of these people that work on the water. they say their catch is 50 to 80% down from before this oil spill. now there's been nothing scientific about this. right now the louisiana department of wildlife and fisheries are compiling a report that will come out in 2012 about this. so we don't have the science yet, but everyone is saying that it could be one of two things or two things it could be. one is the oil spill, and also the people of the gulf coast have been dealing with severe flooding. so it could be both those things together that have resulted in so few fish in the gulf of mexico. >> good to see you down there, gary. again we spent a lot of time down there. excellent report as always.
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thanks so much. the tragic death of a major league baseball player. he was stabbed to death. we'll have the latest on this shocking crime and the shocking arrest next.
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a 24-year-old centerfielder for the seattle mariners has been stabbed to death in the netherlands. he was found dead this morning. his 22-year-old brother was arrested. he played outside amsterdam before making his major league debut in 2010. a man has been arrested in new york in an alleged plot to attack police and military service members. he was caught on camera drilling holes in pipes to make bomb casings. michael bloomberg said he was inspired by al qaeda propaganda but was not part of a larger conspiracy. there may be a lot more money missing from mf global than first thought. the trustee administering the brokerage firm's bankruptcy says about $1.2 billion in customer funds may be missing. that's twice the amount originally reported.


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